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Storytelling for Grant Writing
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Storytelling for Grant Writing


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Grant makers aren’t interested in boring techniques and stale information. If your grant applications could use a makeover, then you should join us for this webinar. …

Grant makers aren’t interested in boring techniques and stale information. If your grant applications could use a makeover, then you should join us for this webinar.

What You'll Learn:

• Specific strategies to add creativity and passion to your proposals
• What not to do to keep your application from resulting in rejection
• Specific examples of good nonprofit storytelling that can be easily adapted
• How to transport your reader’s mind so they can see your need

About the Presenter:
Betsy Baker is President of She has a Master’s in Public Administration from Auburn University and is an author, trainer/coach, public speaker and grant writing consultant raising $10 million in grant funding. She is dedicated to demystifying the grant writing process and encouraging fund raisers to write winning grant applications. She also coaches fellow grant writers in becoming grant writing consultants.

Published in: Marketing, Education

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  • 2. A little about me… Began career in nonprofit development 10 years as a grant writing consultant $10 million in grants received Speaker for the Foundation Center, the Grant Professionals Association & the Association of Fund Raising Professionals  Regular contributor to OpportunityKnocks! and CharityChannel  Founder , hosts webinars, workshops and other grant writing educational opportunities. Also helpful to aspiring grant writing consultants.    
  • 3. Listen Closely
  • 4. Writing Styles Sticking only to technique and form = boring Adding creativity and passion = a much better read for the grant reviewer!
  • 5. All great stories have  Characters  A hero  A “bad guy”  Setting  Time  Place  Plot  Conflict  Conclusion
  • 6. How do you begin telling stories? You have to know them first!
  • 7. How to write your nonprofit’s best stories ever:  Be an investigative reporter to get to know your characters: Executive Director program staff financial guru program partners  Research to intimately know your nonprofit’s stories inside and out: prior evaluation reports online
  • 8. Turning a conversation into written word
  • 9. How to make your application have more personality  Turn off that “editor’s voice” inside your head  Write the way you speak rather than the way you think you should write  Think about words that describe your organization – what gives it a unique place in your community
  • 10. It’s Your Turn!  A museum can be described as:  Historical  Archival  Educational  Kid-friendly  Acclaimed
  • 11. How to introduce your organization’s characters in the Proposal Narrative  Provide a “hook” by introducing your antagonist character first  Allow the protagonist – your hero nonprofit – to be introduced next providing fundamental information  Introduce other main characters such as your clients
  • 12. Establish a sense of time in your proposal  Your work is to support the future of your organization  Plan ahead  Grant review can last anywhere from 4-6 months
  • 13. Write to transport your reader to a physical location. Location, location, location!
  • 14. How to create “tension” with your needs statement Introduce characters & location Build the tension with your needs statement Create a climactic moment
  • 15. Apply storytelling to your needs statement by answering:  Who are the people who have the need or the     problem? Where do the people with the need or problem live? When is the problem or need evident? Why does the problem or need occur? What is the problem with the problem?
  • 16. Example: your need describes the problem of unemployment  Who are the people with the need & where do they live? Unemployed people living in Pike County, AL  How is the need evident? Poverty rates, homelessness and crime are higher here than in the rest of the state (use stats)  Why does the problem exist? It’s complex – lack of safe schools, employment opportunities & transportation  Why is the problem a problem? Poverty, homelessness & crime equals higher & more long-term costs (again, use stats)
  • 17. Statistics are important – grant writers love a good statistic. But you have to have heart in your proposal to temper the stats!
  • 18. “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”
  • 19. You gotta have a hero!
  • 20. Thank YOU!  Stay in touch with me at